Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of George Thilo, 1886 Aug. 7.

Volume M, 365-368, 4 p.
Thilo, George.
Physician and surgeon; German immigrant.

Direct examination by Mr. Foster. Testified through an interpreter. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al.

Treated Henry Spies' bullet wound. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): medical care and wounds (vol.M 366).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the defendants was examined in chief by Mr. Foster and testified as follows:

(This witness testified through interpreter Gauss).

Q- What is your name?

A- George Thilo.

Q- Where do you live?

A- 491 Milwaukee avenue.

Q- How long have you lived in Chicago?

A- Six years.

Q- What is your business?

A- I am a physician.

Q- Are you also a surgeon?

A- Yes.

Q- Are you a graduate of any medical college or institution?

A- At Strasburg in Germany.

Q- Do you know Henry Spies?

A- Yes.

Q- Were you called to attend him on the night of May 4th?

A- He came to my office.

Q- Did you treat him?

A- Yes sir.

Q- For how long?

A- Eight days.

Q- Did you visit him at his house after the first night?


Q- What was the trouble?

A- A shot wound in the abdomen.

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Q- Was it in the abdomen?

A- The testicle.

Q- Where was that wound and from what direction was it received?

MR. GRINNELL: How can he tell from what direction?

MR. FOSTER: Was it a pistol shot wound?

A- Yes sir.

Q- Could you tell the direction, or what appeared to have been the direction of the ball which produced the wound?

Mr. INGHAM: He can tell where it entered and where it passed out.

MR. FOSTER: He is an expert, I suppose.

MR. GRINNELL: He may be an expert on surgery but not on pistol shot wounds. He can tell where it entered and where it came out.

THE COURT: I suppose he means the direction of the wound itself.

MR. FOSTER: Yes, of the wound itself.

Q- Have him explain the direction of the wound.

A- The wound began from the front and went towards the rear in an oblique direction.

Q- Was that oblique direction upward from the front or downward from the front?

A- Downward.

Q- Could you tell from an examination whether or not the ball entered from the front or the rear?

A- From the fronT.

Q- Look at this pair of pants and state whether or not

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they are the pants that were worn by Mr. Spies that night?

MR. GRINNELL: Can he tell, does he know?

THE WITNESS: Yes, I think so.

MR. FOSTER: (Q) Did you see this hole in front and the hole there further back, the night, the first night that you treated Henry Spies?

A- Yes.

Q- You think these are the pants?

A- Yes.

Q- I will ask you whether the injury which Mr. Spies received in your judgment could have been received from a bullet passing in the front hole here and passing out below as shown by this pair of pants?

MR. GRINNELL: That is going into a good deal of expert conjecture

MR. FOSTER: No conjecture about it. He knows the position of all the organs of the human body. I will withdraw that question for the present.

Q- When did you study medicine and surgery?

A- 1872 to 1880.

Q- For eight years?

A- Yes sir.

Q- In what universities?

A- Strasburg, Munich and Vienna?.

Q- Where did you receive your doploma?

A- At Strasburg.

Q- What title was given you upon receiving the diploma? if any?

A- Doctor of Medicine.

MR. FOSTER: NOw then I will repeat the question please read it.

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(Question read)

MR. GRINNELL: It seems to me that is going too far.

THE COURT: He has testified about the wound and from which direction it went, which was the place of entrance and exit--- what effect that would have upon articles of clothing would depend upon other circumstances than anything that belongs to medicine. What you are seeking to show is that Spies was wounded by a shot.

MR. FOSTER WE propose to show that a man just as Henry Spies was helping his brother off the wagon drew a revolver and placed it upon his brothers back: that he got the revolver in this way, and drew it down receiving the shot downward.

That is our position. Their position is that the policeman shot him at Zeph's Hall.

THE COURT: He says it was not true.

MR. FOSTER: We want to show that this is true.

MR. INGHAM: You have in evidence all that the doctor had to say.

MR. GRINNELL: You can put them in--- the pants are in evidence.

MR. FOSTER: No, I will wait until Mr. Spies gets on the stand.

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